Why did I buy a house with no money?

New front door on the little house, November 2009

In November of 2008 I bought a little house with no money. Why? I’ll attempt to explain my craziness.
Before I bought the house I was living in the city sharing an apartment with other people, I was also going to school full-time. It was my mother who phoned me one day in September that she wanted me to come look at a little house with her. Knowing that I wasn’t financially prepared I agreed anyway… can’t hurt right? When I saw the location I hated it! I really did,  it’s close to a road that gets a fair amount of traffic during peak hours, it was not maintained, the yard looked like an abandoned lot and the house needed quite a bit of work.

I completely changed my mind after we toured the house, I loved it. It’s very small, only a 1000sq feet and it only has one bedroom which comprises the entire .5 storey of the 1.5 storey house. The half storey is because the second floor has a slanted ceiling and is only about 6’3 high. But the house is full of character, it was built in the 1930’s and it still has the original pine floorboards, original trim and also two original French doors. The kitchen is tiny, as is the bathroom where the toilet is sinking through the floor. (Another story, another day)

Wood stove installed April, 2009

The house needed a lot of work but after some thought I decided to go for it anyway. I figured that I’d have to either live with roommates, or pay a lot of money for a small bachelor apartment for the next few years if I didn’t. That money would all be lost, while a mortgage would be a better investment. The house was also located in a rural community, yet only 10 minutes from the city. A great spot for me.
I had good credit so I qualified for a good interest rate. At the time there were not many actual houses in my price range in my area, there were only two other comparisons and they were in the heart of the city for more money. So I made a lowball offer, we went back and forth a couple of times and in November of 2008 I took possession.

The time since then has been an adventure; I can honestly say that the 08-09 winter was the hardest winter of my life. I suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and escaped serious injury by a hair. It was a cold winter, stuff broke, the basement flooded, the roof leaked, the toilet broke, I did not hire out for snow removal and the winter was an emotional and financial disaster. But I’ve come out on top, I love tinkering around the house with this or that.

Surprise Crocus, discovered under trees 2010

The yard has been tamed and I’ve inherited a used ride-on lawnmower to make 2 hours push mower sessions a thing of the past. I’ve planted bulbs and shrubs, installed three new windows, rebuilt a wall, laid new flooring in the bedroom, painted a LOT, reshingled parts of the house, learned how to use powertools, installed trim, had some new plumbing done and also renovated the kitchen which has turned into the cutest smallest kitchen in the littlest house.
I’ve realized now, a year and a half after closing that this house does not fit my future plans, but that’s okay. When my five years are up here I will have gained invaluable experience renovating and owning a house an also about myself.

All-in-all, that’s why I bought a house with no money. I can’t explain the joy I feel when walking into the backyard and seeing the things I planted GROW and bloom. Watching a movie on a cold winter night by the crackling woodstove with the kitty conveniently in the way beneath my feet. Getting up on a sunny day and painting one more coat of bright red onto the front door. (My plans for tomorrow!)

This is life, this is good.

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